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Subject: Re: UKNM: Cookies
From: Sean Phelan
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 16:26:03 +0000 (GMT)

At 1:28 pm +0000 2/12/98, Craig Pickup wrote:
>What about those who do not allow cookies to be set? What is the general
>feeling on this list about the use of cookies? I know a number of e-commerce sites
>that rely totally on cookies to the exent that if you do not allow them to be
>set you can not make use of the online purchasing - what is worse is that many do not
>actually tell you that and so you go through the whole process of
>purchasing and form filling to be told you can not proceed because your browser is not

Ah.... cookies and the users that disable them. I have to say that I am
really, REALLY unhappy with the ill-informed and sometimes irresponsible journalism
about cookies.

We send one cookie to every new user on our various mapping sites, and
providing they accept it we don't send them another. We use the cookie to track a
number of factors relating to customer satisfaction, relative performance of partner
sites, detection of copyright violation, etc.

About one third of the cookies we send out are not accepted by the browser.
This is either because a proxy or firewall strips them, or the user has disabled

The result, from our point of view, is that we either have to correlate IP
addresses with recent users (which is dodgy anyway on the high-volume proxies like
AOL, Demon and even BT), or we have to add extra parameters to the URLs, or we have to
risk copyright violation and various problems caused by web crawlers and hacking

I'm seriously considering bouncing the "no-cookie" crowd on to one of our
small servers, which will improve performance for the users that accept cookies.

Sean Phelan seanatmultimap [dot] com http://www.multimap.com
phone (within UK): 0171 433 0460 fax (UK): 0171 209 5194
phone (Int'l): +44 171 433 0460 fax: +44 171 209 5194

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  UKNM: Cookies, Craig Pickup

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